PMID: 591579Jan 1, 1977

Ultrastructure of the adrenal cortex in frozen thin sections

Journal of Cell Science
M M Magalhães


Pieces of both unfixed and fixed rat adrenal cortex were frozen and cut with a cryoultramicrotome. In unstained frozen sections of unfixed adrenals patches of heterochromatin were seen in the nucleus, while numerous round uniformly dense structures, the mitochondria, could be identified in the cytoplasm. Lipid droplets appear as small ligh round areas. Staining the sections with potassium permanganate, phosphotungstic acid, or uranyl acetate, or immersing them in glutaraldehyde, increased the contrast of cell organelles. In frozen sections of fixed material, membranes became visible in negative contrast. Mitochondria display vesicular cristae, whereas the Golgi complex, lysosomes and peroxisomes are easily recognizable. The possibility of cutting frozen sections of unfixed material with reasonable morphological preservation allows the fine-structural localization of steroids in adrenal cells after applying autoradiographic emulsion to the sections.

Related Concepts

Adrenal Cortex
Electron Microscopy

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